French Football Federation: Made in Nike

Hi guys,
On 17 November 2010, the French Football Federation (FFF) wore adidas gear for the last time against England. The 2-1 victory ended a 38 year old partnership between adidas and the FFF. From January 1, Nike officially took over.

They took over after France despicable World Cup in South Africa where Anelka got expelled from the team and  players went on strike (trend made in France). FFF image went down the drain with sponsors leaving a sinking ship and the crowd asking for the guillotine for the leaders of the mutiny. Essentially for the black and muslim players, but that’s another story.

Nothing to scare the Beaverton firm, as Nike France already kicked in teasers, Facebook activations to set the tone.

Nike started off with a Facebook invite for the launch of the Official FFF kit on January 17th. But the best communication tools are the ones with the iconic Eric Cantona. Featuring Eric the King with the Manchester United kit and the tag line “Priere de Déranger” (Please DO disturb) is made in Nike.

A smart way to outline the willingness to go against the grain, to do things differently, to shake things up and ultimately to disturb. Who else could have embodied this tag line better than Cantona?

Next, Nike communicates on the value of the French Republic: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). Well Nike put a spin on this motto and came up with: Liberté, Egalité, Liberté. A strong emphasis on the liberty/freedom element. Again here, one of Nike values is emphasised on.

The 3rd angle Nike is communicating on is with a famous hip hop musician. Known for his bold and border lines statement, he is featured in Nike’s commercials where he says:”Talent is the audacity others do not have“.  Again here, a very “made in Nike” statement, inline with the “You don’t win silver you lose Gold” the swoosh displayed at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

15 days after Nike took over the French Football Federation, it is already interesting to see HOW they send the message FFF=Nike and we do stuff differently. We already have a glimpse and January 17 will tell us more….for sure!

Karl Lusbec

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